Ask the Roaster - Paul from Vagabond Coffee Roasters
How was the Roastery founded, what was the inspiration?
The roastery was initially set up 5 years ago, to provide coffee for our own cafes and due to a ravenous curiosity from the staff regarding all aspects of coffee! We'd previously been rotating through some great roasters and it was honestly quite a learning process to bring the quality and experience to the level we require as a group. Luckily, we'd let our customers know we'd be making the change and that gave us hundreds of enthusiastic voices, daily, with opinions on the flavour and progression apparent in their cups! It was a truly amazing time. Most of the building work (as with the cafe) was done by multi-talented staff and the owner, so it always feels like home.
What's your favourite part about working at the Roastery?
I honestly love so many things about it, it's difficult to pin one. But, it has to be the people. I'm the middle of a beautiful sandwich between incredible, knowledgeable and engaging producers and driven, curious, caring, wonderful business owners, brewers and cafe visitors! The people I've met through my work have justified my choices to move into this industry a million times over.
What's your proudest accomplishment?
My proudest accomplishments are really in the strengthening of the relationships we have. We've come a really long way, digging into the channels we have with different producers and importers and getting to a place where we can guarantee them our business and support the ventures they want to pursue. This year has been really problematic, but we prioritised honouring each of our supply commitments and haven't dropped a single one. A massive shout goes out to our wondrous customers and everyone who's taken our coffee, for making that a possibility. That includes you, reading this, you're ace!
What three words best describe your Roastery?
Built - From - Scratch.
What’s your favourite place to enjoy a coffee, and what coffee would that be?
Good coffee doesn't need great surroundings to shine ;) But, and hopefully this doesn't sound too tragic, I always loved making myself a coffee before I opened our busy bar for the day, or stepping out from the roastery into our garden. There's something about the combination of a cup of coffee and a moment of stillness... It can feel like it's charging all of your batteries.
What Roaster do you use?
A Giesen W6A, it's on the small side (6kg) which is a blessing and a curse. It's been amazing for us, 11,000+ batches and still going strong.
Finally, what Dog & Hat combination would you choose?
A good friend of mine is an accomplished trainer of Salukis! She's been to all the big shows across Europe, and when she talks about them your heart just melts. I'd also go with a plain old, reliable baseball cap, possibly because with the Salukis amazing ears, the combination will probably look a bit like one of those attached cap/wig combinations you get in joke shops.